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Yourski Special: A perfect ski trip, Where and When

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Well, having determined precisely what we want, we proceeded to the realisation of our plans, and we began with the choice of time and place of departure. This step, without exaggeration, is the most critical moment in any ski trip, which, moreover, draws several moments requiring organisational attention, for example, the road - tickets, transfers, cars. Let's see how and what we did on this particular trip.

The fact that this takes place in France is determined in our initial conditions, and we are ready to deviate from them only if it’s not at all possible to realise our plans in France. So far, only the beginning of planning and so far no restrictions and difficulties have come out.

We want a good ride with good snow and good weather with a small number of people, and even so to roll a famous resort. The task seems complicated, but in reality, it turns out to be simple.


In France, the most ardent season and the crowds, as elsewhere, on Christmas, New Year and school holidays. That is the end of December and the beginning of January. At this time, we can’t go at all because it doesn’t fit into our values ​​on the trip - there are many and expensive people. But at the end of January, both the number of people and prices are sharply reduced. It completely suits us. Select dates from January 26th to February 2nd.

Is it convenient to take such a vacation at work? Is it profitable? Of course not! Of course, it is much easier to combine the departure with the holidays so as not to take any holidays at all and come to the New Year holidays and somehow go for a drive. Can. But, we have defined for ourselves the exact definition of a “good ride” in which a prerequisite: few people and inexpensive. Everything. We are "somehow" and "like everyone else" not happy with the ride at the moment. We need "good." Yes, if in the initial goal-setting we would have the notion of “combining with holidays”, we would not have thought and would go on holidays and then think what to do with it and how to be, but we don’t have that, but there are “few people” and "inexpensive". And it turns out only from the 26th to the 2nd. Everything.


The choice of location is at the same time the most difficult and most interesting process. To the existing definition of values, personally from me, at this stage one more was added - to roll something that has not been rolled before. That is, ride in new places. For me personally, it was important for two reasons at once: the desire to explore new resorts and the desire to test my theory about that, with the proper level of training and with enough skiing experience, you can perfectly roll into an unfamiliar resort just by breaking into it for the first time.

Immediately we cross out the places that we had in: Chamonix, Megeve, LaClusa and everything north of it. Remains the southern part of the French Alps. There we will look for something that fits our goals. It is only for them.

We need a famous resort, this is no problem. But we also really want to ride only in good weather. How would we do this? There is only one way to this: we need to be there where several resorts are located close to each other and at the same time they lie in valleys that are differently oriented in parts of the world. Then we have a chance that at each moment of our departure, at least in one of the valleys, there will be no clouds and precipitation. After examining the region we find this option. Here he is:

Green stripes indicate the direction of the valleys in which resorts lie, and blue stripes indicate the orientation of the slopes on which there are lifts and you can ride. The information was collected via the Internet using Google maps on which the main lifts and resorts are indicated, on resort sites on which there are maps of tracks and other useful information.

When analyzing the resorts, we very carefully looked not only at how the slopes with the lifts were located, but also analyzed their slopes. It is very easy to do: we look at what tracks are located on the slope and what form they have. If there are red and blue slopes on the slope and they are fairly flat then the slope is gently sloping, if there are blue slopes, but they are curved and one or several straight black slopes are nearby, then the slope has a good slope.

In analyzing the resorts to choose a location, we immediately analyzed all the resorts on which we might have to ride and noted for ourselves the orientation and height of the slopes that we are interested in at each resort. This must be done in order to understand in what weather and in what avalanche danger you can go to the resort, and in what you do not. After all, the weather and avalanche situation depends on the height and, if, say, at a particular resort, the slopes interesting for skiing are below 2000 meters, and sunny weather promises to be above 2000 meters, then it is useless to go to such a resort - we will not have the right weather at the right place and interesting skiing will not take place.

It is also very important to note the location and orientation of the slopes you are interested in in order to predict the condition of snow and avalanche danger, but this is another story and we will return to it separately.

So, on the basis of the analysis of the terrain, we have what may be of interest to the territory in which the resorts lie: Valmorel, Menuires, Meribel, Courchevel, LaPlagne, Les Arcs, Tignes, Val DeZir and La Rosiere. Well, the selection is not bad and the location is great. There is only 70 km between the extreme resorts of Valmorel and Val-Dezier. on a normal road. It suits us.

Place of residence should be inexpensive, not tied to a particular resort because we do not need it, with colour, but not "combed" as tourists and, most importantly, be located on the road connecting the resorts and be equally removed from all the resorts in our place of interest. a bunch. We found Bourg Saint Maurice suitable. An analysis of the offers on Bucking showed that for the dates of interest we have interesting proposals for apartments for 380 Euros per week for four. That is less than 100 Euro per person per week. Fine.

Yes, this is a tiny apartment in which you can only spend the night. Yes, in them four peasants closely enough. Yes, you can look for something more comfortable and interesting, but in order to do so, we did not have anything about comfort, but it was about “inexpensive”. And it turns out that with those definitions of goals that we ourselves defined this option fits more than. We chose it and booked it.

As a result, we received one-room studio apartments with four beds and a kitchen. They were so small that we put things on them one by one, one takes apart the things and only after that the next one comes. But this was enough to live a normal life for a good gurney. They cooked themselves, which allowed significant savings on food. Restaurants in France are expensive and you need to understand them, and you can buy any food and cook anything and anything you like. So we did.

The road

With this placement (not at the ski lift and not at the resort), with a clear planning of skiing at different resorts, the only acceptable option for us was to have cars for all program participants. Even with public transport, which is in France and works quite well, it hunts for snow and the weather will not work on it. And besides, we have no restrictions on the use of cars in setting goals. We do not have the conditions "to drink every day in the morning" or "not to get involved with cars", we only have that we want to "go well".

In addition, it turned out that the program participants traveled through different airports. We did not choose the dates according to the “most comfortable” principle, but the “go well” principle and it turned out that on selected dates a part of the team could arrive at a place through the airport in Milan, and some only through the airport in Munich. Yes, from Munich to get to Bourg-Saint-Maurice is not close, but the task is not “close”, the task is “good ride”. So we are thinking about how to simplify the task of the road, and not change it. Option one - the car. So we do. We rent cars in Milan and Munich. And go to the place. Having thought out in advance when booking the transportation of skis. The only thing that we did not think about is winter tires. We did not see serpentines on the map from the highway to the resort and did not think that there would be after the snowfall. And it would be worth it. But this is a question of the analysis of experience and to which we will return at the end.

As a result, we have: the road - the plane and the rental car. Everything.

With a cursory reading, everything seems simple. But, in reality, if we didn’t have an original, accurate and unambiguous definition of goals, we would not have come to anything already at this planning stage and would only quarrel because one wouldn’t want to live not at the elevator, the other wouldn’t go seven hours by car, the third would not want to go to these resorts. But, having a clear plan that we ultimately want to make decisions was very simple and all the program participants agreed with them easily. That is why we started with setting goals.

Well, the apartments are booked, everything is decided on the road, we went for a ride and now it is time to move on to the most interesting